How To Cook German Sausage

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There’s nothing as mouth-wateringly satisfying as sausage. Crisp skin, packed full of flavor, and great in a huge variety of dishes, sausage is an age-old standby for countless cultures and recipes!

German sausage, in particular, is delicious. There are over 1,000 varieties of German sausages, varying in preparation and ingredients. In Germany they’re called wurst. You probably recognize this from the word bratwurst, a popular type of German sausage.

How To Cook German Sausage

Most German sausage is made of pork, but can also contain beef, venison, and other meat or even meat substitutes. Just as there is a wide variety of German sausages, there are countless ways to cook it such as:

  • Using a stovetop
  • Grilling
  • Baking
  • Cooking in soup
Tray of bratwurst

Using a Stovetop

There are several ways to cook German sausage, with the most common method being to use a stovetop. To fry raw sausages, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil of your choice in a frying pan. 

Different types of oils have different smoke points, meaning the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke. Oils with low smoke points can leave a bitter taste on your meat. This means the best oils to fry sausage on a stovetop are the following:

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ghee (clarified butter)

Put your preferred oil in the pan and allow to heat fully (this will prevent the meat from sticking to the pan). Cook on medium-low for 10-12 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked through. Make sure you turn the sausages to get an even sear.


While using a stovetop might be the most common method, grilling is the most popular. There’s something incredibly satisfying, and somehow more delicious, about grilled meat. Grilled sausages are easy to make and go with pretty much any meal. They’re a great summertime option. 

How to Grill German Sausages: 

  1. Start your grill and allow it to heat to a temperature of 500-600 degrees F. Preheating the grill should take about 15 minutes. 
  2. You’ll want to use indirect heat to grill your sausages, as it won’t dry the meat out or burn it. To do so, put one side of your grill on the lowest setting, and the other on the highest. The zone with indirect heat will be the area with the lowest setting.
  3. Cook your sausages on this side for 8-10 minutes, turning them over occasionally. 
  4. To finish the process, switch the sausages over to the side with the highest heat setting. Cook 2-3 minutes to get a light char on them.

Baking German Sausage

You may not have realized that it’s possible to bake sausage. Although a less popular option, it definitely does the job, trapping flavor and leaving crisp edges!

Freshly grilled sausages

How to Bake German Sausages:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put raw sausages on a baking sheet or in a glass, oven-proof dish, and pour a little oil over them.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes before taking them out briefly to turn them over. Finish off for another 15 minutes.

For an even quicker meal, consider cutting your sausage up ahead of time and mixing them in with various vegetables – carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, and more. The cooking time will be the same and the sausage will add flavor and richness to the veggies.

Adding German Sausage to Soups

Depending on where you live, the weather might not always be best for grilling. In that case, making tasty soups is always satisfying, filling, and warms you up from the inside out.

Including sausages in soup, especially certain German sausages, adds a kick of flavor and some much-needed texture. The best part about soups is that it’s all made in one pot, meaning you won’t have a lot of cleaning up to do.

To make soup with sausage, start by preparing your ingredients ahead of time. 

How to Make Soup With German Sausage:

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, brown the sausage with a bit of oil and onions or garlic. 
  2. Add in broth and your other ingredients (carrots, tomatoes, and various spices create a comforting flavor profile!).
  3. Cook on reduced heat for 30 minutes.
  4. If you want to add vegetables such as leafy greens or squash, do so halfway through, as they take less time to cook.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Some Popular Toppings for German Sausage?

German sausage is a very popular street food and you can include it in any basic recipe calling for sausage, or eat it on a bun!

Just as there’s a huge variety of German sausages, there are endless toppings as well. The more popular toppings include the following:

  • Grilled onions
  • Stone-ground mustard
  • Roast peppers
  • Classic ketchup, mustard, mayo
  • Sauerkraut
German sausages being grilled

The best thing about German sausage, especially grilled German sausage, is that you can really mix and match your toppings!

What Temperature Should Sausage Be When Fully Cooked? 

Various meats are safe to eat at different temperatures, but the safest bet for sausage is an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. You can do a quick check of the internal temp by using a meat thermometer. 

Make sure the tip of the thermometer reaches the center of the sausage, and confirm before eating that the sausage is fully cooked (but not dry).

Can I Use a Skillet for Cooking German Sausage?

Cast iron skillets have grown in popularity over the years, and they’re definitely a great option for making sausage on the stovetop – or grill, if you’re adventurous!

Cooking in a cast iron skillet gives meat a great crisp surface, especially sausage. Learning how to cook German sausage in a skillet isn’t too hard, as it’s similar to cooking them in a frying pan. 

Heat the pan to medium heat and add in two tablespoons of oil. Add the sausages and let them cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent burning. Turn the heat up to medium-high and sear the sausages for another 3-5 minutes until they brown well.

You can also toss in cut peppers, onions, and other veggies to do a full, one-skillet meal; easy to make and little to clean!

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As you can see, there are several ways to cook German sausage. Overall, it’s a pretty easy meat to cook, so give it a try!

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. He is a contributing chef at Mashed, and his recipes and contributions have been featured in Tasting Table, Edible Arrangements, Insanely Good Recipes, and The Daily Meal.